Video Game / Feel the Magic

Rub it!

What are Feel the Magic: XY/XX and The Rub Rabbits!? The simplest explanation is that these are two games devoted to Love at First Sight, even coming across in the Japanese titles (Kimi no Tame nara Shineru [I Would Die For You], and Aka-chan wa Doko Kara Kuru no? [Where Do Babies Come From?]). In both titles, your character falls completely head over heels for a girl and, with the help of a group known as the Rub Rabbits, sets about winning her heart by impressing her. Which brings us to the more complex explanation.

When Nintendo released the Nintendo DS in 2004, Sega's Sonic Team was one of the companies most excited about its features, and they eagerly set up the new IP Feel the Magic (then known as Project Rub, its eventual EU title) to demonstrate the system's capabilities. The result was a Minigame Game heavily similar to WarioWare, based entirely around the touch screen, microphone, and dual screen setup. With the new IP came the ability to get as crazy as they wanted, and boy howdy, did they ever take advantage of that.

The Rub Rabbits! followed two years later after Feel the Magic's quirky humor and gameplay proved it to be a Cult Classic, but probably due to the increased popularity of the DS making its features less novel, Sega has effectively put the fledgling franchise to pasture ever since, save for the occasional nod in later unrelated titles.

This series provides examples of:

  • Always Save the Girl: Effectively the overriding theme in both games.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: For your would-be girlfriend.
  • Anti-Poop Socking: "Break Time!", which comes up after three levels of a minigame.
  • Art Shift: Most cutscenes are presented as static comic panels.
  • Artistic License Biology: No, your stomach is not full of water which goldfish could swim up.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Would you believe candles? There's also a giant antlion and a giant snake that eats you.
  • Bears are Bad News: Though you can just hide under snow to escape them.
  • Bee Afraid: Even romantic strolls through a garden.
  • The Blank: Everyone, as part of the art style. The whole game looks like an three-dimensional iPod commercial.
  • Blow Gun: Comes up a couple times, including a dramatic use when your jealous crush shoots a memory-wiping poison at your girlfriend.
  • Boss Rush: You're sprayed with gas at one point, causing a hallucination which recreates all of the boss-level events.
  • Brainwashed: The girl you abandoned brainwashes the former rivals into bringing you to her. Thankfully, it wears off.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-universe. Feel the Magic starts as what looks like a movie audience watching your character passing by and falling for the girl; a man in bunny ears sees this, jumps to his feet and runs out of his row, and then appears in the movie with a fishbowl for the hero. Then the rest of the audience follows him!
  • Bullfight Boss: You have to protect the girl from running bulls at one point, poking them to calm them down. While ignoring skiing men.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: You can' get much more literal than the Rub Rabbits. They're labeled a "Super Performance Group", but it's unclear if they're actually paid to perform, or if its members hold any other jobs.
  • Call-Back: All sorts of them throughout The Rub Rabbits!.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Your main antagonist in the second game.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The main antagonist in the first game, who isn't above kidnapping the girl he lusts after.
  • Crush Blush: Often with your love interests.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In The Rub Rabbits!, your romantic rivals all befriend you after you prove once and for all you are the best match for the girl. It's heavily implied they join you in forming the Rub Rabbits performance group from the first game.
  • Delinquent Hair: Your romantic rival from Feel the Magic: XY/XX. And yourself, as it turns out.
  • Deserted Island: You end up trapped on one for three minigames' worth of time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The opening warning screen to The Rub Rabbits!
    "Continuous stroking, blowing and poking could lead to unwanted attention in public places."
  • Don't Try This at Home: A warning screen that introduces Feel the Magic.
    "Do not attempt to recreate any of the situations in this game."
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
  • Excited Show Title!: The Rub Rabbits!
  • Find the Cure: The Legendary Rose whose petals can be ground up to cure a deadly poison.
  • Garden Garment: An outfit made of leaves in the second game.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: One of the mechas in The Rub Rabbits! is shaped like a coconut crab.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: You in the sequel.
  • The Grim Reaper: As you perform CPR on the girl.
  • Heart Symbol: They're games about love, of course they're everywhere.
  • Hot Springs Episode: With piranha!
  • Humongous Mecha: The rival has one. So does the girl in the sequel, in the forms of a bull, a bear, and a hawk.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Eventually, the other eleven romantic rivals concede their defeat and encourage you to be a good boyfriend.
  • Kamehame Hadouken: The final battle with your mohawked rival.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: The girl will occasionally play with a cat during Break Time.
  • Love Potion: Your crush often weaponizes this in her attempts to have you.
  • Love Triangle: Both games. In Feel the Magic, your rival shows up early and is an antagonist from the get-go, forcibly going after the girl. In The Rub Rabbits!, your character saves a girl from falling into a fountain before chasing off after his own crush, making the girl fall for him.
  • Man-Eating Plant: One serves as a boss fight in Feel the Magic: XX/XY. You need to save your girlfriend from it.
  • Minecart Madness: A minigame in the sequel.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The search for the Legendary Rose's petals.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The boss rush in the first game.
  • No Name Given: No one in the game is given a name.
  • Old Save Bonus: Plugging other Sega GBA games into the DS cartridge slot would allow you to unlock themed bonus outfits earlier than normal.
  • The Power of Love: You break out of metal restraints at one point.
  • Prequel: The Rub Rabbits!.
  • Relationship Values: Given a multiplayer treatment in The Rub Rabbits!, which has a compatibility test.
  • Rescue Romance: One actually starts the main conflict of The Rub Rabbits!, since the main antagonist develops a mad crush on the protagonist after he saves her from falling into a fountain.
  • The Reveal: Your blue hair and beard is just a wig; you have a mohawk underneath it.
    • Your character in The Rub Rabbits! is the head of the title performance group; his beanie and goggles were hiding his rabbit ears.
  • The Rival: The chunky mohawk man. The sequel gives you eleven rivals, who all eventually become your friend and heavily implied to be the first members of the Rub Rabbits performance group.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: Referred to as "Roshambo", but there's no Groin Attack involved.
  • Scary Scorpions: You have to knock some off of the girl's back.
  • Silence Is Golden: There's very little dialogue in the games.
  • Taking the Bullet/Diving Save: The girl jumps in front of the rival's last electric blast.
  • Tech Demo Game: Largely the point of Feel the Magic, less so The Rub Rabbits!.
  • Teen Genius: Your jealous crush in The Rub Rabbits!.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Your character during the "Dance" game.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Unlike the first game's girl in her modest dress, the sequel's girl just has a pair of jeans and a bikini top for her default outfit. Obviously, you can invoke this yourself in either game by changing the girls' attire.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Poking the girl during the minigame descriptions will make her react in various pained ways.
  • Widget Series: One minute, you're scrubbing dirt off of your girlfriend. The next, you're unicycling across a convoluted board between two buildings. Just when you think it can't get any weirder, it does.